Anime Vice News

One Fan’s Opinion: How to Get Family/Friends/Pets to Watch Anime

How to share your passion with your loved ones.

Sometimes, watching anime by yourself is boring. You want to get your friends and family to sit down with you and and watch an episode or two, but you can’t get them past that giant wall in their minds that prohibits them from watching a “cartoon”. It’s hard to get mad at them, because at some point in our lives we ran into this wall as well, it might not have been a big wall, but it was a wall nevertheless. Getting your friends and family to watch anime can be a difficult task, and one that doesn’t always pan out, but if you stick with it you can win in the long run.

First off, if someone flat out does not like anime with all their soul, it will be nearly impossible to make them like it; don’t bother trying to force your hobby on them. Instead, help the people who might have a skewed interpretation of the subject, like anime is for kids only, or anime is all about tentacle rape, or anime is only Pokemon. As with anything in this world, first impressions mean everything. They will judge the entire anime race based on the first few minutes of a movie or a television show, so it has to be a good one. Depending on how often you see this person, and how committed they are at trying something new a try will tell you whether to watch a movie, or start a series.

If you decide on watching a movie, a Ghibli film is always a safe bet. But sometimes, it can be too safe because of it’s similarities to Disney films. You want to showcase how anime is different than western animation, so be sure to pick the right title. For example, if they truly believe that anything animated is for children, then show them Grave of the Fireflies. This movie is about the harshness of war on both sides of the battlefield and the sadness that accompanies war, it will definitely prove your point. Also most Satoshi Kon films will be able to showcase the more serious side of anime as well.

If a friend or a family member is in this for the long run, then a series will be the best choice. Anime series are the primary way most people watch anime, and in my opinion, the best way. The number one rule to follow in this situation is to pick a short series that matches the viewer’s taste. Cowboy Bebop is a series that will impress the most despite what their taste might be. I’ve also started people on shows like Naruto or One Piece in the past, but it retrospect it might not have been the best idea. Most of us like to start what we finish, and since these two shows will never end, and take an enormous time to finish, your friends and family will spend all their times watching these shows and not experimenting with others.

Like I said before, the most important thing you can do to keep them watching anime is to make a good first impression. There is nothing different between people who watch anime, and those that don’t, other than a bad experience in the past that kept people from watching it. Reeducate them one step at a time, and those people will be thanking you in the future.
metalsnakezeroon June 14, 2010 at 10:25 a.m.
Its all about the bonding moment in the anime that helps bring people together, like when me and my sister were watching the last episode of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Dream moderator on June 14, 2010 at 10:51 a.m.
Otherwise known by some as the anime "gateway drugs." XD
sotyfan16on June 14, 2010 at 11:45 a.m.

Most of my family used to sit around and watch DBZ when it was on tv. My dad says that he even watched Dragonball now and then when it aired, too. Other anime I've gotten my dad to watch are Afro Samurai and Hellsing. My family is familiar with my anime dealings so I can get them to watch. My friends (most of them) are too far gone to check anything out. I've gotten a few to watch Afro Samurai but only due to the American work done with it and because it's a short series. I really wish anime was part of's up to us to make that happen!!

REDRUNon June 14, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.
Testicles are the way to make new anime fans everywhere. So don't diss the naughty appendage.
constanzadellarosaon June 14, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.
I can say I'm lucky my whole family likes anime; even my grandparents liked it (they loved Rurouni Kenshin!). Some of my friends are tough bones, though most of them like some series.
sickVisionz moderator on June 14, 2010 at 4:53 p.m.
I totally agree about not forcing it on people. 
I've gotten my mom into anime via Evangelion and she loved it.  She was going through issues with her mother and and introduced as a show about a kid going through issues with his father and she got into it because of that.  
I think picking stuff that lines up with something that a person likes or relates to them somehow is a great way to introduce them to something new.
jlanzeron June 14, 2010 at 10:53 p.m.
great article couldn't agree more.  it would be cool if we got success stories and epic fail stories.  i wonder if someone had a relationship end because the guy (or girl, which would be a shame) was like hey lets watch some hentai to kick off the night.
zerodualityon June 15, 2010 at 10:37 a.m.
fullmetal is definitely a great show to start someone off, me and my older brother still watch my dvds from time to time and he loves naruto but another show that works just as well believe it or not is fooly cooly. my younger sister used to love watching it with me on the 'puter. its one of those series that shows anime isnt just for kids but totally makes you feel a bit like a kid. my older sister also used to watch death note with me on adult swim at times and whenever she missed it the next morning she would bug me asking what happened in the show.
Dethfishon June 15, 2010 at 5:48 p.m.
I always felt like Death Note was a good show to get people started with, especially with people who just think of anime as Pokemon or DBZ. I was actually re-watching an episode the other day and my mom (who's never really watched anything anime related) saw it, sat down and watched the entire episode. 
I got my younger brothers into it a couple years ago with DBZ and FMA. Now their pretty avid anime watchers.
FekketCantenelon June 16, 2010 at 7:50 a.m.
My dad dislikes animated stuff, but my mom's pretty open to watching anything as long as it's not violent or depressing (so Children of Men and Grave of the Fireflies are right out). She watched some Cowboy Bebop with us way back in the day but couldn't keep track of what was going on (it didn't help that she started on the episode with the church, episode 6 I think). 
I like that JesuOtaku's reviews label some anime as 'gateway', meaning they're good enough and easy enough to get into that they can make a fan out of you.

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